I’m all bundled up and out on the ice. I’m carrying my pack today because mom wanted some photos from Bellacam.
We decided to go to the ice caves as soon as they announced that the lake had frozen enough to permit access. The deal is you park at the beach parking lot and walk a mile to the beginning of the caves and then visit all the caves, this would be about a 3 or 4 mile journey.
However the caves were very very busy, we had to park about a mile and a half from the entrance to the beach access road (cars were only allowed to park on one side of the road) and we ended up hiking 7.9 miles (9 for Auntie, she went ahead to the car while we stopped at the restroom.)
On a busy day you can just follow the parade of people! (There were so many people.)
In addition to the fact that Lake Superior hasn’t ice to access the caves for 5 years, there has been a lot of news coverage about the caves and I think no one wanted to miss their chance to see the caves.
We arrived around 1:30 and headed back at 4:00 pm.
If I had any advice it would be to just go, even with several thousand people there the ice was awesome to see. There might be fewer people there in the morning but the caves are covered in shadow.
We would highly recommend some kind of traction aide for your boots, even if there is fresh snow on the ice some of the caves will likely be clear and slick.
Mom took off one of my front boots so I would have extra traction on the ice and switched halfway through (my back paws are more sensitive to cold, maybe because I’ve had surgery to remove tumors on them).
Snowshoes would be great if there is new snow or if you want to avoid the crowd by going straight across the to the caves (we did this on the way out, it was tough going without snowshoes).
We saw people accessing the caves in all kinds of different ways, snowshoes, cross-country skis, sleds, skijoring, bikes and snowmobiles (but I’m not sure they are actually allowed that near to shore).
Photos from Bellacam! I’m always very popular on the trail. Some people stop to pet me but most people just comment on something I’m wearing, you know, a camera, a pack, a jacket or the fact that I’m missing a boot.
Grandpops found the above on the Sea Caves webcam. We think that might be us in the red square.
Here is a photo mom took around the same time.
We used my new spot I got as a prize from the CheckpointMN scavenger hunt. It was pretty cool, Grandpops tracked our progress in real time as we were out on the lake and you can see our trip below.
01 February 2014
Temperature Range 14F to -1F
Hike Length 7.9 Miles
2014 total: 15/250 Miles (We need about 20 miles a month! We’re behind already!)